|Motivate private sector to provide jobs|
|Friday, 09 September 2011 13:07|
The perennial high unemployment rate is the nemesis curtailing any meaningful recovery of the United States economy. Last week's job report showed that job growth for July was zero. The few jobs that were actually created were erased by additional job losses during the month.
With the national unemployment rate remaining at 9.1 percent, Florida at 10.7 percent and South Florida at 11.7 percent, if someone in South Florida is not unemployed or under-employed he or she knows someone close who is. Nationally, there are over 17 million people unemployed, with some 350,000 in South Florida.
Needless to say, this is a frustrating, almost unbearable situation for public officials and private citizens alike. With unemployment stagnant, the nation eagerly awaited President's Obama new job growth plan announced in his national address on Thursday, September 8.
However, it doesn't take a psychic to foretell that the Republican-led U.S. House will perpetuate the "Washington foolishness" to frustrate the president's new job-growth proposals. The "foolishness" regarding agreeing to a date for the President to make his joint address to Congress already suggests the problems facing him. It is no secret the Republicans are more interested in opposing Mr. Obama's initiatives while they focus on reclaiming the White House from him. So helping him provide jobs for millions of unemployed Americans isn't their top priority. Yet it's ironic that the same Republicans that criticize the Obama Administration for "too much government" constantly criticize it for "failing" to improve employment.
However, Mr. Obama still needs Congress. With his proposal including reasonable tax credits for private sector businesses, a measure Republicans have been pushing, it's interesting to see how they will vote on this measure in the U.S. House. Will they have the sense to approve one of the president's key job creation proposals, or find an excuse to vote against it? It's difficult to visualize them voting against tax credits, but with the moderate Republicans so influenced by their extreme right Tea Party colleagues, one never knows.
Instead of wasting time in controversy with Congress, similar to the debt ceiling debate, one would rather Mr. Obama make a strong effort to obtain the support of the private sector in improving employment.
In the federal government's current financial plight, public sector jobs that can be generated, pale in comparison to those the private sector can create. Mr. Obama must focus on incentives offered to the private sector, but tax breaks offered to the sector should be tied to the number of jobs companies provide. It is evident that only if the federal government and the private sector collaborate on creating jobs will unemployment decline. It won't decline through cooperation between Congressional Democrats and Republicans. Not over the next 15 months.
Mr. Obama has been severely criticized for the stubborn high unemployment. These criticisms include those from frustrated members of the Black community, who complain he hasn't done enough to ensure Black people find jobs. This seems a fair complaint with unemployment reaching almost 17 percent among the Black community.
However, it is important to not let frustration get in the way of reason. Realistically, the Obama Administration has relatively little power in directly providing jobs. The government is limited in its ability to employ directly. Rather, it is the direct responsibility of the administration to create the climate where the private sector should lead in job creation.
But two interesting questions emerges: should the private sector become more cooperative in creating jobs and are the unemployed really employable?
Nationally, the Black community (particularly Black men) is experiencing the highest rates of unemployment (16.7 and 18.1 percent respectively). It cannot be concluded that the only reason is that Black folks are being victimized by employers. Too many Blacks are not academically qualified or trained to be employable.
The rate of unemployment in the mostly Black populated American inner cities is over 20 percent. A strong correlation lies between this high unemployment and the significant high school drop-out rate in these communities. Education and job training in the inner cities must be immediately addressed, if the job situation is to improve.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) must be commended for its recent initiatives, including a job fair in Miami, to alleviate unemployment in the Black community. But, it is hoped that the CBC doesn't limit its initiative to a brief flurry to organize job fairs. The CBC should attempt to work with local officials and relevant community-based organizations with the objective of improving academic and job skill levels especially among young Black men to make them relevant to the job market.
America's unemployment problem is not this or any president's sole responsibility. A national solution should involve the president, local, state, and federal elected officials, certainly the private sector, and those who seek employment themselves. This focus on one man to solve the nation's problems, and who bears all the blame, is absurd. However, this one man must forcibly apply the leadership skills which build workable coalitions that can realistically offer solutions to pressing problems like unemployment.
|Last Updated on Friday, 09 September 2011 13:40|